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Alonso: “Part of the job is done” after epic recovery drive

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Alonso: “Part of the job is done” after epic recovery drive
By:
Jun 17, 2018, 2:25 AM

Fernando Alonso produced an epic night-time stint in his first Le Mans 24 Hours to slash the gap between his #8 Toyota and the leading #7 car.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso, #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez lead at the start
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso, #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Alonso’s car was delayed just before midnight when teammate Sebastien Buemi received a 60s stop/go penalty for speeding in a slow zone. 

It meant Alonso inherited a 2m10s deficit to the sister car, driven by Jose Maria Lopez, but he slashed this down to 44s by the time he handed the #8 car over to pole position setter Kazuki Nakajima.

“We had to push, obviously,” said Alonso. “We lost time with the penalty, the stop/go, so we had an unlucky situation with the safety car and things like that, so it was time to recover.

“I felt good at night, into the zone, and I tried to push and recover – and I think it was one minute and a half. Part of the job is done, it’s still a long race ahead of us and we still need to recover a couple more seconds there."

When asked how he found his first-ever night race stint at Le Mans, he replied: “It was OK, sometimes you get frustrated with traffic, sometimes you get lucky. Also my laps, when I got lucky, it’s a nice feeling!”

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Le Mans 24h: Alonso chases lead #7 Toyota at halfway point

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Le Mans 24h: Alonso chases lead #7 Toyota at halfway point

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Le Mans 24h: Nakajima sends #8 Toyota into the lead

Le Mans 24h: Nakajima sends #8 Toyota into the lead
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